James Attlee takes an askance look at the Christian music counter culture.

At a gig-cum-interview in front of an invited audience at the Greenhouse recently, American singer/songwriter Kim Hill gave some fascinating insights into the kind of questions fielded by the average Christian music fan when face to face with their heroes. "It is kind of funny when kids come up and want to know what kind of shampoo you use, and where you buy your shoes - it's like - c'mon, you know?" We know. Kim's upbringing precluded such frivolities. "My parents made a deal with me that if I didn't listen to the radio, they'd buy me all the Christian music there was. Growing up, I never got anyone's autograph, and my mum wouldn't let me have posters in my room, so all of that part is kind of funny to me - to give autographs and to know people have posters of me in their rooms." Balding Word supremo Dave Bruce was heard to ask jokingly what shampoo did Kim use anyway. Whatever it is, Dave, it won't turn back the clock!

I've heard of long hard roads to the top, but. . . American singer Julie Miller recorded a demo tape that without her knowledge found its way into the hands of recording artist Leslie Phillips. So impressed was Phillips that she passed it on to top Christian music producer Dan Posthuma. Posthuma's enthusiasm was matched only by his frustration - who was this singer, and how could he find her to work with her himself? In desperation, Posthuma played the tape to all and sundry for years in the hope that someone would recognise her voice. Happily, this modern-day Cinderella story has a satisfying ending. Miller was located, and the results of their collaboration can be heard on 'Meet Julie Miller', due to be released in the UK on 1st May, and already picking up rave reviews in the US.

Still on Ms Miller, Cross Rhythms' venerable editor Tony Cummings who's aged visibly since the enormity of his The Spirit Of Rock And Soul series dawned on him, nearly fell out of his bath chair too when he heard an advance copy of the 'Meet Julie Miller' album. Just like producer Posthuma, Cummings has been searching for the illusive Ms Miller for years too! The Cross Rhythms editor has been going gaga for years over an utterly obscure six-track album US Sparrow put out by country gospel trio Streetlight. One track is number 11 in Cummings' mammoth series. No one knew who Streetlight were or what their awesome lead singer was called. Cummings found out when he got to 'Meet Julie Miller'.

I hear that Marilyn Baker has come up with an original way to raise funds. Having been invited to play in Poland in July, and being short of cash to underwrite the tour, she is going on a sponsored slim. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.